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Belfast's first fully driverless transport system will launch next year

Published on 1 February 2023

Northern Ireland first self-driving shuttle service will be formally launched in Belfast Harbour Estate at the end of next year, it has been confirmed.

Passengers will be able to avail of the city's first fully driverless transport system on a mile-long route from the Titanic Quarter railway station to the Catalyst Science Park in Queen’s Island.

Departing every 15 minutes and capable of carrying 16 passengers per journey, it is likely to garner huge interest in the harbour, which is home to a mix of 760 businesses, and to its hundreds of permanent residents as well as 1.5 million ferry and cruise ship passengers every year.

The project - christened the ‘Harlander’ - is being created as part of an £11 million funding package from Innovate UK and industry partners including REE Automotive, Angoka, BT and Horiba Mira.

The initiative has been awarded £5.5m in funding from Innovate UK, which is working with the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles to invest £41.5m in seven similar innovation projects across the UK.

The scheme, which has been in the offing for more than four years, is part of a shared ambition for the 2,000-acre harbour to become the world’s best regional port and to create an iconic waterfront district for Belfast which will be an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest.